First lets throw some light on the concepts of good, bad and evil. What we call as good is when one party irrespective of his own agenda chooses to do things that can benefit others or refrains from doing things that can harm others. Opposite of this behavior is bad and the extreme opposite being evil. But why is being good, good for us? Simply because when everyone behaves the same way, we can expect less destructive behavior from our peers and can live in harmony.
But are we supposed to live in harmony? Evolution, the force behind our existence, requires every life form to prove its fitness by maximizing its access to resources and competing with every other life form. The best strategy to maximize ones access would be to share when confronted with an equal contender and dominate others. Since no two life forms are equal (genetic variation) there are partnerships when apt, exploitation when possible and all the corner cases of evil playing out now and then. Just as expected.
The indoctrination of good, bad and evil by means of culture, religion, law, etc. tries to minimize this phenomenon for a sustainable society. But however hard we try evolutionary forces still reign supreme. We are just another milestone in the evolution of life and are meant to be superseded by better beings just like monkeys before us and the countless many before them. This is the way of nature!
Its sad that we have started to romanticize and lust for fire power, arms and ammunition at a public level or at least the mass media is forcing these emotions into us.
Many television / cable channels commonly recommended for kids and adolescents now air programs depicting weapons and tools of war as the coolest stuff to posses and experience. How can we allow this to happen to our young (highly impressionable age groups) and complain about violent behavior / gun violence in schools and colleges? Whats this hypocrisy? Aren't weapons just a necessary evil to defend ourselves? Why are we boasting our military technology in mass media? Whats this new found lust for destructive gear and tools?
Is this all part of the 'War Propaganda' to prevent common backlash against ongoing wars by ordinary people (tax payers) funding these wars? This is a surprising trend in the past few decades to which mass media is playing host and common man is falling prey to! Even more surprising is how democratic countries are encouraging and falling prey to this conjuring indoctrination by wicked back stage forces!
Governments don't care! Leaders care less! But its important for the common man to remember that - 'No body ever wins a War! Everyone loses!'. When the mind and heart of the average Joe gets corrupt, families disintegrate, communities falter, nations tremble and empires fall.
Through out history leaders have committed atrocious acts of genocide, then you have your every day people who are just plain rotten. What made them that way?
Was it how they were raised? Circumstance can have a huge affect on the raising of a child and how they turn out to perceive the world. In this case, Do the sins of the father pass on to the son or Mother on to Daughter?
Maybe it is economic standing. A person who needs money is more likely to be desperate for it than for a person who has financial stability. In this I imagine some one mugging some one else.
Most importantly I wonder if the very definition of evil changes with society?
The Psychology of Evil. Interesting prospect. "The Lucifer Effect" is really interesting. Turning the good bad, it only takes one crazy person with their finger on the trigger and nothing to lose to kill everyone. It seems logical that it can come down to the very situation of a good person being presented with a scenario where the person could either do what is "Right" or what is "Wrong", but it changes the question in my mind to what is "Right" and "Wrong"? How do we define these things in every day life?
In my mind we all need to be aware of our weaknesses in ourselves, and our strengths, and be aware of the situations that capitalize on our weaknesses and strengths. If we can do that, we can as a race of beings be better off. If we could learn to avoid the situations that put us in scenarios where we are forced to walk on our weak leg so to speak, and pursue our strengths in academia, social awareness, mental abilities, etc, we can change the course of our future, one situation at a time.
While personal and selfish motives explain evil at an individual level, there is another facet to evil - 'Mass Hysteria' & 'Mob Mentality'. History of mankind is smeared with blood from evil perpetrated by indoctrinated mobs justifying those acts of violence as a service to their Gods, scriptures, culture or ideology.
Witch-hunts, holy wars, riots, etc. are all examples of this type of evil by common people leading a normal life, provoked by a call from their leaders who are often guilty of misguiding these mobs.
The root cause of this type of evil can be traced back to unfettered faith in some leader / ideology and indoctrination. Can people in general resist indoctrination? Because once our belief system is breached we can be manipulated into doing anything and there will always be those clever charismatic crooks waiting for an opportunity to cash in on such sentiments. It all boils down to what we accept as truth and how we make sense of our world with all its idiosyncrasies.
In the end, history repeats itself but we can change that if we learn to resist dogmas, value criticism, respect rational argument and realize that no belief is worth the blood and lives of our fellow men.